Why does the grandmother call the Misfit a "good man" in "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The grandmother calls the Misfit a good man because she is trying desperately to save herself. She uses the protections that have served her throughout her life. She tries to offer the Misfit money, which is pointless, as he can simply kill her and take it (as he point outs). She also tries to appeal to his sense of honor by appealing to the idea that he should behave like a gentleman because she is clearly a lady. This comes from her lifelong belief that being a "lady" will protect her from the worst evils in life.

Faced with a mass murderer, the grandmother is stripped of her false protections. As she faces death, neither money nor her status can save her. It is only when she faces the reality of her own vulnerability that she can experience a moment of grace and see the Misfit as her own son and as a being loved by God.

At this point in Flannery O'Connor 's short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find," the grandmother is trying to make an appeal to The Misfit's good side in an effort to...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 641 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team